If you haven’t watched Donald Trump’s weekend rally in support of Rick Saccone, don’t bother. Just turn on Fox News and watch it at double-speed for a few minutes and you’ll get the idea.
Trump’s rallies have always sounded like Cap’n Spazzy McMethmouth doing his best impression of a far-right AM radio belcher by way of a Fox News pundit. This latest rally, however, was more coked up than ever, sounding as if Trump snorted all of the Adderall and washed down the drip with a tanker-truck of Red Bull. Frankly, it’s amazing his shriveled necrotic heart didn’t explode five minutes in. If it had, I’d still be giving it a standing ovation 36 hours later. But his heart didn’t explode, and the Sherlocks inside the Republican Party still haven’t figured out that there’s an enemy within. Within the Oval Office.
The entire reason why Trump had to travel to PA-18 Saturday night for another of his shrill-meets-vulgar rallies can be directly correlated with Trump’s horrendous behavior, not to mention his corruption, immorality, misogyny, racism and his traitorous links to Russia. Indeed, one-hundred-percent of the reason why Republicans have been losing, or coming closer than ever to losing in various special elections, is directly due to Trump’s obnoxiously unpresidential diarrhea-of-the-mouth — his stream-of-consciousness motormouthing — his insatiable thirst for sweet, sweet applause.
Thanks to the previous administration, Trump’s GOP has had a relatively robust economy on which to run, but Democrats have either won in GOP-dominated districts previously dominated by Trump, Romney, McCain and Bush 44, or the Democrats have scored substantial and unprecedented vote gains over previous years.
Saccone, for example, previously won reelection with 60-70 percent of the vote. In a new Monmouth poll out on Monday, Conor Lamb, Saccone’s Democratic challenger, leads Saccone 51-45. Now, you know my rule: Don’t get happy. But as of this writing, and barring any shenanigans by Russia or Russia-adjacent interference, it looks like Trump will have endorsed another loser — a loser ordained as such by Trump’s disastrous presidency.
Of course, the Republican Party will never wise up about Trump. The party will continue to french-kiss this monstrous bag-full-of-monkeys until the bitter end. Meanwhile, Trump seems as if he’ll never in a million years wise up, either. Don’t forget the Trump Rule: Trump always makes things worse for Trump. His loudmouthed tastelessness is part of his brand now, and, being Trump, he’ll never abandon his brand, as toxic as it is to both his presidency and his party. We can therefore expect many more rallies that do nothing but fluff his dwindling base while horrifying the Normals.
And it’s a small chunk of the Normal vote that’d help win these special elections. Instead, Trump instinctively drives away everyone except the diehard MAGA-hat faithful, and he can’t win a goddamn thing with the racist a-hole vote, even in deep red states and even deeper red districts. The election results speak for themselves here.
But it’s too late for Trump. He’ll never pivot to being more presidential (duh, I know), especially given that his mockery of presidentialness has become a new bit for his rallies, most recently on Saturday night. While the damage to the presidency as an institution will take years, perhaps decades, to repair, the damage to the Trump presidency has been indelibly carved into his political gravestone by Trump himself. And even if he suddenly snapped and began to get his shit together, it’d be a futile gesture given the ever-growing menu of crimes, corruption and cruel whimsy he’s stacked up since he first descended that garish, nouveau riche escalator in Trump Tower to announce his candidacy. Trump has already manufactured his legacy, whether he likes it or not, and it’s a Fury-Roadish hellscape of tragedy and pain.
As with the tea party before it, the Republican mission to win at all costs has only succeeded in a near-term presidency but long-term disease and dysfunction. Once again, they’ve mistaken decibel-levels for electoral support. But just because Trump’s sold thousands of red hats to angry upper-middle-aged white guys doesn’t mean his support among 30 percent of the voting population will translate into future wins.
Instead, and in years to come, Republican leadership will have to swat down Trumpists with the same level of aggravation with which they’ve had to swat down tea partiers in the years after the 2010 midterms. How many Republican leaders will succumb to the coke-fueled grievances and rage-a-holism of Trump’s cosplaying hatchlings? Whatever number you come up with, it’s probably low. They’ve stupidly allowed the orange tail to wag the Big Red Dog, and they’ll privately regret it, if they haven’t already and I suspect they have.
As dangerous and destructive as it is, Trumpism is on life support. But, ssssh! Don’t tell Paul Ryan and the RNC, at least until after the midterms.